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Full text of "Alexander von Humboldt"

WILLIAX  VOX  HtJMBOIiDT.                  351
Correspondence also occupied a great portion of Ms
time.     His family was in  Italy, his brother in Paris.
With. Uhclen,  who had been his predecessor in the
Roman embassy, he stood in official correspondence;
he hadj besides, an extensive official and private cor-
respondence  with  many others.,  and  especially with
F. A. "Wolf.    His friendship for the latter induced Mm
to place him in a prominent position in the educational
department, to which Wolf's talents entitled him? but
for which his aversion to move in circumscribed spheres^
and  his obstinate  demands,  soon made Mm   unfit.
Huraboldt insisted on his great scientific worth to the
ministers, and even to the monarch^ and convinced them
of the expediency of treating "him cautiously and con-
siderately, in order to keep his services for the state.
He wrote to Wolf in June^ 1809 : "Think of your fame.
Fame is a Sisyphus  stone5  which   rolls  back trea-
cherously  if one does not always advance it.    Your
calling is to produce great learned  works; you are
now so placed that you have sufficient time for them;
your official duties are so arranged that you can easily
fulfil   them   in   your  leisure   moments.    Commence
some work, help us at your own convenience in our
less important labours, and grant me now., as formerly,
your affectionate confidence.    But  do not let it be
said, that in fixing you in Berlin 1 make your talents
useless for science."   His efforts were, however, in vain.
Wolf was not fitted for  business   activity,  and  Ms
ambition was wounded by being- placed in a subordi-
nate situation     In March., 1810., when the section for
sciences  expected to commence their labours  under
Wolfs  presidency, he suddenly resigned the  office,
He soon felt, especially after Humboldt had left Ms1
post in the government, how foolishly he had aefecij.
and how kind his friend's intentions towards Mm tiad
been.    His respect for him increased more and more7
and he lost 110 opportunity of showing it in ike most
solemn, manner.
The first point to be achieved was a reform in po-
pular education, or   rather^   the introdiiotioa   of   a